COUNTDOWN – 15 DAYS!!
As I was driving to the Xenia Campus this morning in order to share a devotional thought with the faculty, I was reflecting on the passage in Ephesians 4:17-24. This rich section of scripture deals with such a great biblical principle of being renewed in the attitude of our minds. I really identify with this truth and then about halfway there (20 minutes into the trip), I began to think about the students in the school and how great it has been to talk with them about my thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail and the adventure that God is providing for me. It suddenly hit me that I have never given the faculty an opportunity to ask about my journey.
Since today was my last devotional time with them until I return in the fall, I decided to take the first 5 minutes or so to respond to any inquiries they had. I opened the floor for questions…. They asked about my preparation…. my plans for resupply….the things I look forward to the most…. my travel arrangements to Georgia…. How many hours I plan to hike each day …. the concerns and needs of my wife while I’m gone ….and 20 minutes later (the length of the devotional time), I still had not opened to Ephesians 4. Instead the principal of the high school asked the faculty members to gather in a circle and join together in some prayer for me.
The prayers were so meaningful to me because they prayed for my safety and emotional/spiritual well-being during those times of loneliness; they prayed for my wife and her needs in my absence; and they prayed for other thru-hikers along the trail and the friendships that I might develop on the trail. The devotional time was not spent in the word of God, it was probably not as meaningful to the faculty as Ephesians might have been, but it was very impactful on me. This kind of expression of the love and support of others will fuel my courage and confidence in those dark and lonely times. (Thanks Dan, Ron and Eddy for your words of prayer AND thank you Xenia Christian Faculty for your enthusiasm and support around the circle.) I so look forward to reporting back to them in September!